Infection rates across most Lancashire boroughs have fallen slightly in the last 24 hours, giving hope that huge numbers may start to come down after following the huge third wave surge.
Until recently, case rates across all boroughs have been climbing at alarming rates – with some boroughs experiencing a doubling of numbers in just one week following the relaxation of rules over the Christmas and New Year period.
The surge has led to NHS bosses in the county revealing the true scale of the pressures now facing local hospitals.
Kevin McGee, who is joint chief executive of East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust and Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, warned they will soon be in a ‘very grave place’ in Covid cases and patient numbers continue to rise.
But the very latest Public Health England data on testing gives a glimmer of hope – albeit one that must be taken with a lot of caution at this stage.
While infection rates for the seven days to January 9 show a comparable increase in all 14 Lancashire boroughs compared to the week ending January 2, rates have fallen in 10 areas compared to the figures published yesterday.
Burnley remains the Covid-19 hotspot of Lancashire, however its rate has fallen from 1045.9 cases per 100,000 people to 967.2.
Pendle, which has the second highest rate in the county, has seen its number fall from 892.4 to 825.1 while Blackburn with Darwen’s has dropped slightly from 757.5 to 738.2
Hyndburn, Rossendale and Fylde are the only boroughs where rates have increased over the last 24 hours, while Wyre’s rate remains the same.
A total of 8,239 people tested positive for the virus in the week to January 9. This is up by 20pc from the 6,823 cases the week before.
The week-on-week rise is down from the 36pc increase in yesterday’s PHE data.
Burnley, Pendle, Blackburn with Darwen and Hyndburn all remain above the new England average of 618.1 while Blackpool now has Lancashire’s lowest infection rate.
The figures, for the seven days to January 9, are based on tests carried out in laboratories (pillar one of the Government’s testing programme) and in the wider community (pillar two).
The list below has been calculated by the PA news agency, based on Public Health England data published yesterday (January 13) on the Government’s coronavirus dashboard.
Data for the most recent four days (January 10-13) has been excluded as it is incomplete and does not reflect the true number of cases. The rate is expressed as the number of new cases per 100,000 people.
The data below compares data from week to week, rather than day to day, and therefore shows increases in all areas.
Full list of Lancashire infection rates on Wednesday, January 13:
From left to right, it reads: name of local authority; rate of new cases in the seven days to January 9; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to January 9; rate of new cases in the seven days to January 2; number (in brackets) of new cases recorded in the seven days to January 2. The arrows show how infection rates compare between January 2 and January 9.
Burnley, 967.2, (860), 846.8, (753) ↑
Pendle, 825.1, (760), 690.5, (636) ↑
Blackburn with Darwen, 738.2, (1105), 633.3, (948) ↑
Hyndburn, 730.5, (592), 557.7, (452) ↑
—————————————————- The latest average infection rate for England is 618.1
Ribble Valley, 584.7, (356), 581.4, (354) ↑
Rossendale, 566.6, (405), 398.7, (285) ↑
Lancaster, 511.5, (747), 359.5, (525) ↑
West Lancashire, 486.4, (556), 447.0, (511) ↑
South Ribble, 476.6, (528), 379.1, (420) ↑
Preston, 459.0, (657), 355.6, (509) ↑
Wyre, 444.3, (498), 374.7, (420) ↑
Chorley, 400.1, (473), 324.0, (383) ↑
Fylde, 331.8, (268), 271.1, (219) ↑
Blackpool, 311.2, (434), 292.6, (408) ↑
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Of the 315 local areas in England, 154 (49%) have seen a rise in case rates, 159 (50%) have seen a fall and two are unchanged.
Barking & Dagenham in London continues to have the highest rate in England, with 3,205 new cases recorded in the seven days to January 9 – the equivalent of 1,505.4 cases per 100,000 people.
This is down slightly from 1,634.5 in the seven days to January 2.
Knowsley in Merseyside has the second highest rate, up from 796.8 to 1,399.3, with 2,111 new cases.
Newham in London is in third place, down very slightly from 1,406.3 to 1,398.3, with 4,938 new cases.
The 10 areas with the biggest week-on-week rise in rates are:
1 Knowsley (up from 796.8 to 1,399.3)
2 Liverpool (612.2 to 1,048.1)
3 Sefton (650.1 to 1,075.9)
4 Halton (874.7 to 1,212.4)
5 St Helens (491.7 to 824.0)
6 Bournemouth Christchurch & Poole (607.3 to 881.0)
7 Wirral (696.9 to 941.0)
8 Worcester (540.4 to 768.6)
9 Copeland (330.0 to 544.1)
10 Tendring (956.6 to 1,169.5)
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